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Tasting Panel Picks Their Top Dining 'Hood of 2013

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of local food writers, industry types, and friends. We asked the group eight questions ranging from Biggest Dining Surprises to Restaurant Standbys, Top Newcomers, and Restaurant Breakups. Today, we continue with Top Dining Neighborhoods of 2013. Readers, please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.

The Surly Gourmand, curmudgeon:

In years past I have unrepentantly voted for Capitol Hill, but now it seems that Pioneer Square, once an overpriced culinary shitshow for tourists, is making some pretty big leaps. With Bar Sajor, Rain Shadow Meats, and of course Il Corvo, there are now plenty of actual places to eat good food in Pioneer Square.

Leslie Kelly, editor at Zagat Seattle:

I absolutely LOVE Pike Place Market for its incredible diversity and depth. And talk about characters! Sitting on the patio at Seatown in the summer, you're going to see the world walk by and maybe a more than a few shady characters doing something illegal. Besides Seatown, where the rotisserie porchetta and seafood specials bring me joy, I dig the bar at Marche, the kimchi at Britt's Pickles, the vibe and the pig at Radiator Whiskey. I love chef Anthony's heartfelt cooking at Steelhead Diner and the romantic dining room at Pink Door. For something quick and cheap, there's the Pasta Bar and a drumstick at Chicken Valley. You'll find me shopping often at the antipasti bar at DeLaurenti and picking up cookies at Three Girls Bakery.

Jess Thomson, writer and cookbook author, Hogwash:

The "not really in a neighborhood" neighborhood.

Allecia Vermillion, food & drink editor at Seattle Met:

Pioneer Square is such an obvious answer that I hesitate to say it, but restaurants really are changing the fabric of the neighborhood. Plus I support any civic developments that result in Little Uncle opening around the corner from my office.

Allison Scheff, food & dining editor at Seattle Magazine:

Upper Fremont. Dot's is serving really great food at dinnertime now, plus Vif is up there and it's just so warm and lovely. Instant classic. RockCreek impressed me, too. Not to mention Roux (which I haven't been to quite yet), Uneeda and Paseo.

Rachel Belle, radio personality at KIRO 97.3 AM and Open Wide columnist at Eater:

I wish so much that one single neighborhood encapsulated all of my favorite restaurants, because then I wouldn't have to drive my '94 Geo Prism all over this city to quench various culinary cravings. For one, it's time consuming, and two, people all over the city see that I drive a '94 Geo Prism. Alas, I drive to Ballard for The Sexton's fantastically creamy, and multi-dimensional, mac & cheese, to Fremont for Revel's short rib dumplings and crab noodles and, because I'm a poutine whore, to Brass Tacks in Georgetown because they serve the city's absolute best.

Nicole Sprinkle, food editor at Seattle Weekly:

Fremont. With Joule and The Whale Wins already firmly ensconced there, this neighborhood continues to pump out excellent restaurants like RockCreek, Le Petit Cochon, Roux and soon-to-come Bourbon & Bones.

Jen Chiu, Roll With Jen:

Upper Fremont. Influx of new destination-worthy eats clustered on Fremont Ave. between 41st-45th such as Vif, Roux, and RockCreek to join local established favorites, Paseo and Dot's.

Kristin Ackerman, publisher at SIP Northwest Magazine:

Ballard. A quick walk up Ballard Avenue and you have a great lineup of Italian, French, Mexican, BBQ and American cuisine options. So many newcomers to the neighbordhood. A few standouts for me are Stoneburner, Bitterroot and The Sexton, while all the staples still remain like Hattie's Hat, Bastille, and the Smoke Shop.

Naomi Bishop, freelance food writer, The Gastrognome:

Hard to argue with Fremont here, with the advent of Joule/Whale Wins, the opening of Roux, Vif, RockCreek, Westward, etc. Though I would add a nod to Capitol Hill, where I had an unbelievable white truffle tasting at Altura, the best shrimp and grits I've found in the city at Witness, and would take a seat anywhere in the section of 15th Ave. that should maybe just be re-named "Stowell-ville".

Julia Wayne, freelance writer, Eater Seattle contributor:

Fremont. Revel has been my favorite restaurant since the first time I ate there, on its second day, and even though it's often over-run, the food is always incredible. It's the one restaurant where I'm often jealous of myself for what I'm eating. With Joule moving to the hood with its perfect neighbor, The Whale Wins, in a gorgeous building, and then Roux and RockCreek coming along... well, other hoods didn't stand a chance.

Julien Perry, editor at Eater Seattle:

This is Pioneer Square's year. Il Corvo 2.0 kicked things off on New Year's Eve, followed by Bar Sajor, Rain Shadow Meats, Tinello, Little Uncle, Altstadt, London Plane, La Bodega, and the back bar at E. Smith Mercantile, where the food is completely underrated.

· All Year in Eater 2013 Coverage [~ESEA~]

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